Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Jekyll Island Blues

If I could take any one thing from New Orleans and transport it back home to Island City, it would be something you probably wouldn't think about. You might imagine that it would be a particular restaurant, a brass band, or WWOZ 90.7 FM. All of these things would be great, but you've got to think outside of the culture box. Think: infrastructure.

Yeah, I know. Quit laughing. What possible infrastructure improvement could the Crescent City have that Island City - the land of convenient health care and paved roads - needs or even wants? With that in mind, you may come to the conclusion I'm talking about the streetcars, and you'd definitely be getting warmer.

Warmer because the one thing I would transport back to the homeland would be a $1 ferry boat that ran between the Village on St. Simons Island to the north Pier on Jekyll Island. Just like the one that runs from the foot of Canal Street to Algiers.

Some folks may complain that linking the islands so closely would spoil the charm of Jekyll's less populated, more pristine beaches and quiet vacation homes. Well, pick your poison. If Jekyll Island keeps losing this much money, the state will let the developers in, anyway, and then all the things that make Jekyll different from St. Simons can be kissed goodbye.

With a ferry, you could keep Brogen's and Mullet Bay back on St. Simons where they belong, and still generate more sightseers on Jekyll to keep the place afloat, no pun intended.

The difference? No 45 minute to an hour long car commute through Brunswick to get from one island to the other island a mile away as the crow flies. Increased bicycle traffic & golf tourists could roll from one island to the next, and people would be more tempted to stay on Jekyll and party on St. Simons. This would also completely revitalize the Village area, which needs revitalizing. Badly. The only business that could lose business is Spanky's on Hwy 17, conveniently located at the halfway point, for those islanders who bravely set out from one to the other and found themselves hungry on the way.

But these are just the musings of an old Village Rat, pay no attention to me.


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